At the Northwest Arkansas Councils annual meeting today, Alice Walton, chairman of Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art
board of Trustees, revealed Autumn Landscape (1862), a painting by Hudson River School artist Thomas Moran (1837 1926), is now in the museums permanent collection. Ms. Walton made the announcement as part of a presentation updating the Council on the museums progress and economic impact to the region.
Formally owned by the Harvey and Bernice Jones Trust, Autumn Landscape was acquired by Bernice Jones in 1960 at Baracks Antique Auction for her husband Harveys office at Jones Truck Lines in Springdale, Arkansas. It hung in Harveys office until the company was sold in 1980 when it was moved to their home and hung in their den until Bernices death. Bernice did not know it was a Moran when she purchased it she just liked it and thought it would look good in Harveys office, said Joel Carver, president of the Jones Trust Board of Trustees. Harvey and Bernice wanted the painting to stay in northwest Arkansas where the people of the communities they called home could enjoy it.
Thomas Moran is best known for his panoramic views of the American West and provided Americans and Europeans their first look at spectacular sites later preserved as national parks. Autumn Landscape, a painting of a Pennsylvania valley, was once thought lost and only re-surfaced when acquired by Jones. After a thorough conservation examination and research it was discovered Moran painted Autumn Landscape from drawings made during an 1861 sketching trip to the eastern Pennsylvania valley and was exhibited the following year at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts.
What an interesting and wonderful journey Autumn Landscape has taken, said Walton. We are thankful to the Jones Trust for the opportunity to include this fine painting in the Crystal Bridges permanent collection."